Politics

The Biology of Progressive Politics

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The  Biology of Progressive Politics
Clayton Morgareidge, Old Mole Variety Hour
March 2, 2009


The rhetoric of the Obama presidency is a lot more progressive than anything we’ve ever heard coming out of the White House.  The new administration is still taking shape, and so is the  way it is perceived by the public and the media.  So now is a special time when we should be pressing for the most progressive agenda we can come up with.  To do so, we should first try to be clear about the philosophical underpinnings of a progressive agenda.

The political left is inspired by its sense that although we are individuals, human life is deeply social.  We are social beings not just because we have to have rules of the road in order to not to crash into each other as we compete for scarce resources.   We do not just live next to each other: we live our lives within the lives of other people. Together we construct the forms of life that make each individual life possible, meaningful and desirable.  How others talk and think and write and paint and sing and build creates the horizons of what I can see and do.  How others organize and implement personal and family relationships creates the world in which I will love and hate and fear and hope.  The ways in which production and distribution are carried out determines my opportunities for being productive, secure, and comfortable.  Human life is never merely individual or personal.  There is no way for us not to be interested, and emotionally invested, in what other people do.

Dear Leader

 So, as we will discuss on the show tomorrow, Washington is in the throes of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. This is an event where the purest of the ideologically pure gather to congratulate themselves on having ascended to the pinnacle of Western civilization.

Predictably, hilarity ensues.

But this year, something strange happened when Rush Limbaugh delivered his much-anticipated speech the other night. Granted, Limbaugh constitutes a strange event in and of himself, but that's not what I mean. On Saturday, Limbaugh spoke for about 90 minutes, all of which was broadcast without commercial interruption on three different networks -- CNN, CSPAN, and FOX News. So he could, you know, talk about how he wants the president to fail:

 

‘It doesn’t matter to me what his race is. He’s liberal, and that’s what matters.’

‘The racism in our culture was exclusively and fully on display in the Democrat primary last year,’ Limbaugh said. ‘We didn’t ask if he was authentically black. What we were asking, was, ‘Was he wrong?’ We concluded, ‘Yes.’ ‘

‘The racism, the sexism, the bigotry that we are all charged with ... doesn’t exist on our side,’ he added. ‘We want everybody to succeed.’

 

What, I'm wondering, is so earthshaking about Rush Limbaugh that he deserves 90 minutes of uninterrupted time on commercial TV? Can anyone think of an analogous figure on the left that has ever been granted such a boon? Anyone?

Limbaugh is clearly the leader of the Republican Party. Newly-elected GOP chair Michael Steele is the latest luminary to be forced to issue an abject apology to El Rushbo. Conservatives cross this guy at their peril.

The good news is that if Rush is calling the tune, the party will soon be over. Could there be any clearer evidence of the fact that the GOP is now a rump party, with solid support only in the South?

-A

Teabaggin'

 So, in response to President Obama's stimulus plan and new budget, a handful of "spontaneous" conservative demonstrations have sprung up around the country. Billing themselves as "tea parties," these heartfelt outpourings of right-wing pathos are intended to channel the revolutionary spirit of the original Massachusetts rebels.

... Leading, of course, to witty sentiments like this:

... and this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At such a meeting of the minds, who knows what may have happened? Certainly there was a brisk trade in bootleg Pat Boone albums.

-A

The Abe and Joe Talk Radio Show on 03/03/09

Air date: 
Tue, 03/03/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Fun with conservatives, the (non-) State of the Union, and the end of the war (?)

 Abe and Joe enjoy the clown show that is the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, take on President Obama's historic almost-State of the Union address, and examine the president's plan to withdraw from Iraq.

 

Old Mole Variety Hour for March 2, 2009

program date: 
Sun, 03/01/2009

Hosted by Clayton Morgareidge, this program focuses on opportunities to shape what's ahead in the Obama years.  We hear from labor journalist Sam Pizzigati about the promise of the President's budget proposal; from Environmentalist Mary Wood about what we must do to keep the atomosphere safe for living things; from Book Mole Larry Bowlden about new stories and poems from Grace Paley and John Nichols; and from Clayton about progressive politics as grounded in the brain. 

To hear the whole show, use the arrow at the top of this page.  To listen to individual pieces, follow their links below:

1.  The Obama Budget: Bill Resnick and Sam Pizzigati

54:56 minutes (31.44 MB)

Does the Brain Lean Left?

program date: 
Sun, 03/01/2009

Do the progressive sentiments coming out of the Obama administration appeal to a part of our nature that's embedded in ourbrains?  Clayton Morgareidge explores the possibility and what it might mean politically. 

You can read this commentary here

8:15 minutes (4.73 MB)

The Amazing Obama Budget

program date: 
Sun, 03/01/2009

 

 

How progressive is the Obama budget?  Republicans call it socialist, among other things.  Sam Pizzigati, a labor journalist and analyst with the Institute for Policy Studies, says it's the most radical presidential program in generations.  Bill Resnick talks with him about what it all means and its prospects for becoming reality. 

 

16:59 minutes (9.72 MB)

Alternative Radio on 03/04/09

Program: 
Alternative Radio
Air date: 
Wed, 03/04/2009 - 9:00am - 10:00am

Nena Baker - The Body Toxic (lecture)
More than 4 decades ago Rachel Carson, in "Silent Spring," first warned that man-made chemicals were taking a deadly toll on birds and wildlife. Now we are recognizing that chemicals are effecting human
sexual development and reproduction and can cause central nervous system diseases, cancer, and liver disease. Everyone is carrying a dizzying array of chemical contaminants, the by-products of industry
that contribute to a host of health problems in ways just now being understood. These toxic substances, unknown to previous generations, accumulate in our fat, bones, blood, and organs as a consequence of womb-to-tomb exposure. Almost everything we encounter-from soap to soup cans and computers to clothing-contributes to a chemical load unique to each of us. Scientists refer to it as "chemical body burden." Chemical companies would rather consumers never knew about the potential dangers their products pose.

Nena Baker is a former staff writer for "The Arizona Republic," "The Oregonian," and United Press International. Her award-winning investigation of Nike's Indonesian factories led to numerous improvements for workers. She is the author of "The Body Toxic."

Redneck America

Categories:

 Those of you who have listened to the show for awhile now know that I have made intermittent attempts to expose our listeners to the conservative psyche, and, in particular, those who get paid to espouse and minister to it. These attempts have met with a mixed response, divided roughly between those who, like me, find conservatives interesting in a train-wreck sort of way, and those who feel there time has been wasted merely by being exposed to what people like O'Reilly and Limbaugh have to say.

Well, I'm going to keep doing it. It's important to know the idioms and memes that drive the hardcore 25-30 percent who will always support the GOP. The End-Timers. The Good Ol' Boys. The "NASCAR Voters." It's important to understand what they're saying and how they think.

Alexandra Pelosi has made a documentary, "Right America: Feeling Wronged," which is airing now on HBO. For those of us who don't subscribe to HBO, it will probably be available for rent in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, here's a clip.

Watch it.

-A

H/T, Pandagon

Flashpoints on 03/03/09

Categories:
Program: 
Flashpoints
Air date: 
Tue, 03/03/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am

Coverage of yesterday's mass act of civil disobience in Washington D.C. advocating environmental awareness.

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